François Hollande, Bernard Cazeneuve, Lionel Jospin, Anne Hidalgo … The left meets at Le Creusot to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the election of Mitterrand

Forty years after the victory of François Mitterrand, on May 10, 1981, Mitterrandie sought on Sunday in Creusot (Saône-et-Loire) reasons to hope for a return of the left to power, when only one in four voters is considering to vote for her in 2022.

They are (almost) all there. Former President François Hollande, former Prime Ministers Lionel Jospin and Bernard Cazeneuve, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, former ministers Pierre Joxe and Jean Glavany … “companions” de route de François Mitterrand, as Lionel Jospin described them, met at Le Creusot (Saône-et-Loire), Sunday, May 9, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the election.

Several round tables were organized, from which emerged a strong feeling of nostalgia. François Mitterrand, a “emblematic figure who left us a huge legacy”, in the words of David Marti, PS mayor of Le Creusot. “François Mitterrand embodied a conception and a sense of the State which should serve as a lesson to us, said Bernard Cazeneuve. He had a sense of friendship ” and some “loyalty”.

Jean Glavany told how he became Mitterrand’s chief of staff, with the moments “exaltation” of the first cohabitation, “a game of go or chess for which Mitterrand was a goldsmith”. Pierre Joxe explained that “methodical work” of Mitterrand to bring the left to power was “an interesting lesson for the future”. Lionel Jospin has mentioned “the fruitful journey of a great leader and a head of state”, who “let the prime ministers rule and respected the ministers.”

Lionel Jospin explained that he would not go at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron, who wishes to bring together the former Elysee under François Mitterrand soon, because “As regards the way in which the power of today is structured and acted, any connection with what Mitterrand did can only result from a misunderstanding”.

However, former President Hollande sees in the memory of May 10, 1981 the opportunity to profit from “experiences” past. “The left was already divided in 1981 but there was this great Socialist Party, he recalled. There still needs a force and an incarnation, a force that must be imagined, organized, thought. There is one year left. In one year, you have to do what François Mitterrand took ten years to do “, between the congress of the refoundation of the PS in Epinay in 1971 and the victory in 1981. “It’s the acceleration of history”, he quipped.

However, “Has the cycle opened in 1981 been closed? Has socialism finished with its reforming mission? I don’t think so, hammered François Hollande. Socialism, if it is rethought, renewed, with the ecological urgency, socialism is the most appropriate response to ensure social and national cohesion. It is up to the new generations to work there, a political construction is always done with old and new, in reinvention “.

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